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Star Coulbrooke’s Retirement from USU

10/07/2020

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Star Coulbrooke, the first Poet Laureate of Logan \and long-term Director of the USU Writing Center, retired at the start of Fall Semester.  Star has been a fixture at Utah State University for over twenty-five years.   Her education, career, and community efforts all reflect her career-long dedication to spreading the joys of poetry, teaching writing, and mentoring undergraduates.  Star graduated magna cum laude from USU in 1996 in English Literary Studies, with a minor in philosophy. After finishing her Bachelor’s degree with honors, she continued her education at Utah State and earned a Master’s degree with an emphasis in folklore in 1998. Both her undergraduate and graduate theses were dedicated to poetry. Star was a student and friend of the late Ken Brewer, Utah’s first Poet Laureate. 

While completing her formal education, Star began her work with the USU Writing Center. She was promoted to Assistant Director in 1999, and eventually became the Director in 2008. Under her care, the USU Writing Center expanded immensely. She opened up a second location in the Merrill-Cazier Library and established the Online Writing Center. Furthermore, Star helped found the Cache Valley Community Writing Center and the Science Writing Center.

In addition to her tireless promotion of the Writing Center, Star devoted herself to her work as a teacher. Throughout her time at USU, she taught a variety of courses: beginning and intermediate composition, creative nonfiction, beginning and advanced poetry writing, folklore, writing center tutorial practicum/graduate instructor seminar, and poetry writing and tutorial practicum/GI seminar. She did not only instruct in the formal classroom, however, as she constantly taught and prepared the peer tutors that staffed the writing center.

Her continued success while working with USU mirrors her marvelous achievements as a poet. She has published several collections of poetry: City of Poetry (2019), Both Sides from the Middle (2018), Thin Spines of Memory (2017), and Walking the Bear (2011). Star also has published her poetry in many prestigious magazines and journals. Additionally, she strives to promote poetry off the page. She is a pillar of the Logan City poetry community, serving as the city’s inaugural Poet Laureate for five years. During her tenure, she helped establish Helicon West, a group that meets bimonthly to celebrate prose and poetry with special guests. She also held Poetry Walkabouts, where she invited anyone to join her in searching for poetic inspiration throughout Logan’s beautiful landscapes.

Star Coulbrooke will be sorely missed, but while she has moved on from working for USU, she will continue to play an active and inspiring role in the Cache Valley community.  She leaves the Writing Center in the capable hands of her friend, the long-term Associate Director, Susan Andersen.  We are excited that Star now has more time to devote to poetry, and look forward to seeing her on campus and in the community!